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This broccoli cheddar soup recipe requires hardly any effort and is full of cozy flavor. There’s nothing like a big bowl of steaming soup on a chilly day and this easy soup is one of our favorite cool-weather meals.
October may be pumpkin season but if you ask me, it’s also the beginning of soup season. Especially if you live in an area where the temperature starts to drop and will continue dropping for some time! When it’s in the single digits outside, cozy bowls of steaming soup really hit the spot.
Broccoli cheese soup is one of my family’s favorites. In fact, this is the recipe that made my kiddo stop refusing to eat their broccoli when they were little. I was like, “Yes there is broccoli in this soup but there is also a ton of CHEESE. You love cheese. So what’s not to like?” And since they have always been a major cheese fan they couldn’t argue with that logic.
Why You’ll Love This Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
There are many qualities that make this soup a must-try, but if I had to choose, here are my top reasons:
- Easy. There is nothing complicated about this recipe, which makes it perfect for a lazy weekend or a weeknight where you have a bit of time to let the soup simmer on the stove. From start to finish, this broccoli cheese soup is ready in under an hour.
- Hearty. In addition to the broccoli, there are carrots, garlic, and potatoes in this soup. It is filling and satisfying.
- Cheesy. There is an entire 8-oz block of cheddar cheese in this soup. It melts seamlessly into the broth, creating a creamy, cheesy base that is compulsively slurpable.
- Flexible. You can add other veggies to this soup pretty easily. Want to use cauliflower florets instead? Go for it. Want to add a can of drained white beans for extra protein? Also not a problem.
What is a Roux?
A roux is a mixture of flour and fat cooked together over low heat. It creates a thickening agent that is one of the best ways to thicken up soups and stews. In this recipe, we will make a roux with flour and unsalted butter directly after the onions, garlic, and carrots are cooked in olive oil.
Making a roux is not difficult, but it is precise. Here’s how to make sure your roux is absolutely perfect:
- Smell. Your roux is ready when the butter and flour mixture no longer smells like raw flour. Instead, it will have a nutty scent to it.
- Color. Another key indicator is the color. There are different degrees of doneness for a roux, with white rouxs being commonly used in bechamel sauces. In this broccoli soup recipe, we want the roux to have. very light golden brown color.
It is also important to use a whisk when cooking your roux, and to whisk it constantly. This will prevent lumps from forming.
Tips for the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup
In addition to the above tips, here are a few more things I recommend:
- Bite-sized pieces. It is important that the broccoli and potato pieces are small enough to easily fit into your mouth. Keep this end goal in mind while preparing your veggies.
- Shredded carrots? Sliced? Diced? I prefer to shred the carrots in my food processor because it makes it easier for them to be evenly distributed in the soup. (And also bite-sized.) But if you prefer, you can also dice your peeled carrots or even slice them into half-moons.
- What kind of cheese is best? I recommend using a block of cheese (vs. pre-shredded) and shredding it in your food processor. Freshly shredded cheese melts easier. You can use yellow or white cheddar. Whichever one is your favorite variety is the one you should use in this soup.
- What kind of milk to use? I use whole milk but you can also use low-fat or non-fat milk. I don’t recommend using plant-based milk with this recipe.
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheese Soup
I love serving this soup with thick slices of crusty bread. It also goes wonderfully with grilled cheese sandwiches, which you can make on the griddle or bake in the oven.
Other sides that go well with broccoli soup include:
- Cornbread Muffins
- Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cheddar Cheese Sweet Potato Muffins
- Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits
- Old Fashioned Cornbread
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Let your soup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, ladle your desired amount into a small pot and warm over medium-low heat until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also microwave the soup in a microwave-safe bowl, pausing halfway through to stir the soup and make sure it reheats evenly.
I don’t recommend freezing broccoli cheddar soup.
Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, use a block of cheese and grate it, don't use pre-shredded cheese
- Cook the onion, carrots and garlic. Heat the olive oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
- Add butter and flour. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the butter to the pot. Once it melts, add the flour, then with a whisk mix the flour into the butter. Continue whisking gently for about 3-4 minutes, until it has a slightly nutty smell and is light golden in color.
- Add broth and milk. Slowly add the broth to the pot, whisking it into the flour mixture. Add the milk and whisk that in with everything else.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has thickened up a bit.
- Add veggies. Gently add the broccoli pieces and potato chunks to the soup. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix in and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Grate the cheese. With a grater or food processor with a grater attachment, grate your block of sharp cheddar cheese. Set aside about 1/3 cup to sprinkle on top of the soup when you serve.
- Add cheese to the soup. Gently add the rest of the cheese to your soup and stir in until it melts.
- Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with reserved cheese.